Oh shit! A new reason to live!
I’ve never heard more honesty than listening to punk songs…
“Youth of America
There’s pressure all around
The walls are coming down
the walls are crumbling down on you
It is time we rectify this now
We’ve got to save it now
Got to feel it now, now, now…”
This is Bob Dylan to me.
If I’m incredibly honest with myself, this movie changed me. I didn’t know it was a Pirate Radio station placed on top of the story from “Over The Edge” when I saw it the first time. But what I did know is that there was some incredible music, angst that I felt spoke to me directly, and a character with a profession that I already admired.
My mom worked in radio and it was certainly something I obsessed over as a listener, but watching Christian Slater play the Descendents and Pixies and then talk about his personal problems seemed to get at something I needed to do, so desperately. His ideology, his sense of what was wrong and what was right, was more true than anything I’d seen before. I had to do this. More than anything I’d ever done before.
I might me bad at many things in this world, but the first obsession I made real was becoming a radio person, and I largely owe this movie to that.
I popped a whole mess of these in the mail today for friends and well-wishers, and I would love to send one your way! 80 Minutes of new Mini-Mutations only available on CD! Numbered, with full color zine packaging, paintings by Devin Miller, an essay on our relationship with buildings, and download codes for bonus material only available online! Mail-order copies come in a custom envelope designed for this release!
I’m quite proud of this one, and I would love to put one in your hands! Order today!
Oh shit! This @itspeteski comic is a little too on the nose.
Also: we need to destroy the America that we are slowly becoming.
This goes without saying, and I will fight anyone who disagrees, but ”13-Point Plan To Destroy America” is the most important album made in my lifetime. You need to listen to it more than you think.
What this meme actually says:
People older and younger than me are annoying and I’m too drunk to remember when the Generational divide actually occurs.
Several non-plumbers have privately messaged me with guaranteed solutions to our problem.
Ahem. I think non-plumbers acting as plumbers MIGHT have been our problem in the first place.
But: I appreciate your enthusiasm.
Three different plumbing services have been to our home since we moved in. About a half dozen or so people have poked around our pipes, giving us differing opinions about what the problem is, even among people from the same company.
Things that are free with the other guy are expensive with this guy. Most people insist on getting on the roof, but one guy today said that’s an incredible insurance liability to ask employees to do that, which makes me wonder about all the folks I’ve sent up our roof before. At first everyone said that we’d need to pay a lot for a camera video so the problem can be diagnosed. So we eventually paid for a camera scope, and now start off with telling people we have a video. So far this has proved useless; each new guy insists on running a camera anyway, now at no charge, because he wants to “see for himself” what the problem is.
No one service has even remotely seemed interested in trying to hide the fact that they plan to gouge us. Either they want us on an inexpensive but every-six-months-for-life maintenance routine, or they want us to co-sign a loan to cover a permanent fix. The guy today led with the worst news, suggested we go back to our previous plumbing service, wasn’t very nice or optimistic, and then gave us the highest quote we’ve heard yet, $6k, not counting possible expenses that may come up while they are at work.
My question is: can Capitalism finally collapse so this bullshit can end?
Catch up on Society’s Standards. A new media package from Mini-Mutations.
There are so many things that are larger than we are, and it is very easy to feel overwhelmed by almost everything around us. Our daily lives are full of errands and tasks where we must interact with structures and ideas that are epic in both size and meaning.
And yet, music is almost always about boys and girls coupling in various combinations while partying.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some form of art that addresses the relationship we have with these incredibly huge ideas in our lives?
It’s time to submerge yourself in Society’s Standards, a new media package by Mini-Mutations. Seven new tunes clocking in at 80 minutes, and this music is only available on CD! None of it is online!
This album comes packaged with paintings by Eugene, OR artist Devin Miller, all assembled as a zine with a new essay about the relationship we have with the magnificent and breathtaking structures in our community.
Also available in this new package are download codes for digital bonus items, including new audio content only available online! Finally, custom mailing envelopes have been designed for this unique item, making Society’s Standards something that acts as a piece of mail art, too.
With so much of our entertainment now existing entirely online, even the most engaging work becomes locked in a digital reflecting pool that is easy to overlook as we regard our own metaphors. Let Mini-Mutations bring something into your home that helps you put away your device for a couple hours, and consider the real world around us.
Numbered 100 copy Full Color Zine / Music / Digital Package. Get yours today!
If you missed the show on Friday, here it is, available in Podcast form! Obadiah and I get in full Grumpy Punk mode, playing an all-vinyl (and mostly all 7″) show of our favorite punk stuff. Enjoy tunes by The Headcoats, The Rezillos, Dead Moon, The Adverts, Jawbreaker, Teengenerate, Pretty Girls Make Graves (band), Behead The Prophet No Lord Shall Live, Scared of Chaka, The Miss, The Jimmies, and so much more! Two hours of this nonsense means you can rock all night long. Available for stream or download.
I (Heart) Billy Childish.
The soothing sounds of yesteryear…
Getting the day started.
Get ready for some records on KMUZ.org. Two hours of punk. I think the Damned will kick things off.
My refrigerator is a meme.
I’m at that age where every time I meet up with one of my friends I haven’t seen in ages all we talk about is what a mindfuck it is to be our age.
Doing some last-minute prep for the Grumpy Punk to go to KMUZ later with Obadiah. It’s a Vinyl Solution tonight; all 7” from Obadiah’s collection. This will be excellent! The fun starts at 10; audience participation is in effect. Give us a call! Catch ya on the flip side.
It is… finished.
There’s a guy in my neighborhood who is a dead-ringer for Zizek. And how would you know for sure, even if you stopped and grilled him?
Which gives me the perfect idea for a gameshow:
Zizek or Not?
Why I am crying when it is late and I’m tired and I should be in bed based on decade:
80s: A Long Distance Commercial
90s: A Girl
00s: Jobs & School & Debt
10s: Falling in love with Marla
20s: Reading Wholesome Memes
More fine work from The same video of chimps dancing different songs.
Voices of the dead, hear to haunt me in the present. Part of me knew that her voice might be somewhere on these tapes, and of course, it is her at her worst, and she’s right, in spite of her meanness. I was almost sure I’d taped over it, and I had mostly.
But there it was, at the end of another tape entirely. Someone now long passed, someone I spent a lot of time with, and someone who was on a mission to run themselves into the ground, as fast as she could.
I could never understand why she was the way she was. I have no idea what she was looking for in me; we were not a good match at all. And, I’m actually impressed that I feel largely over the whole thing. At least, I certainly cry more listening to Don Joyce, and her voice was merely shocking, more than something to bring me to tears.
Admittedly, I have done a lot of processing since I knew her. It WAS 20 years ago, and life goes on.
But even warbled, in mono, aged two-decades, and through her berating me and my friends, I can now finally remember her voice, and some of the times that weren’t so bad as how it ended.
Goodbye Mama Cass. Hopefully those who remember you can take a moment to enjoy a PBR, in honor on the parts of cases of beer you would leave in your wake as you would drop by various parties throughout Eugene in the late-90s.
I’ve had a very weird and excellent creative week. I discovered and digitized some old recordings that I assumed were gone forever, and I got back the other halves of some projects that I’ve been working on collaboratively and they are both VERY cool, so far. I even wrote some essays and did some yard work, and I have some fun things planned for the weekend.
Our world is falling apart slowly, all because horrible rich fucks do not care about us in the slightest, and only want the haves to enjoy themselves. So every time I do something I enjoy in the world of art unconnected to their fuckery, it’s a huge middle finger to them and their lives.
I miss you. Let’s hang out soon?
This Friday! It’s been a while since The Grumpy Punk has crawled out of his den, worked the kinks out of his back, grunted, and played a bunch of records that make him happy. And this time, he’s being joined by Obadiah, who will be picking out the tunes and making it sound excellent. We may have audience participation in effect; call with your requests. Maybe we’ll play them? Who knows. 10 PM, Sharp!
I just found a really shitty audience recording I made of a Buzzcocks show from Berbati’s in 2006, I think? Was anyone else there, aside from Cheryl Albrecht? I’m trying to figure out the date…
It’s been four years since Don Joyce passed. I keep thinking that I can get out of me all these complicated feelings I’ve had ever since. I keep thinking I’ve said it all, that it is out of my system, but then I realize what time of year it is and I start to go through all the same thoughts and feelings again.
And I only knew him through his show.
I’ve said before that I became an adult listening to Don. Shortly after High School I discovered Negativland, but even more profoundly, I found Don’s show. When I pitched my first show in 1998, I wanted to do Over The Edge my way. Every time I was upset about anything, there was Don, doing another show, week after week, showing me that you just have to keep going. You don’t have a choice; there’s another show to do.
Don’s death changed my life profoundly. It forced me to shift my show to embrace everything I had always wanted it to be, dramatically causing me to follow all my crazy ideas as a sort of honor to his memory. His death led me to play live music on my own, finally playing collage music like is always wanted to do. And all of that was this crazy attempt to assert my life as an “artist” in some serious way.
This all led to interviewing and meeting members of Negativland, playing shows with them, and… well. All of my current plans and involvements and ideas are influenced directly by his actions, his ideas, and his behavior as an artist. He is very much my muse.
Don was involved in radio for years, but it was only the last 30-so years of his life that he did “Over The Edge,” certainly his magnum opus. Perhaps it is optimistic to think that I have any remaining years ahead of me at all, but there’s something heartening to think that if I continue even one of the things I have going now, and keep it up until I’m 70, I have at least a tiny chance of recreating a small part of the incredible feat he accomplished as an artist. It makes middle-age feel a little more tolerable, anyway, as long as I keep trying, that I might actually succeed, almost through force of will than anything else.
I never met him. I traded one email with him, and saw him perform live once, in 2006. But since 1994 he has been whispering in my ear, every week, teaching me about music and art and entertainment and what you can do when you have no fear and you don’t care what other people think.
And I think about his voice, and it’s impact on me, every day. And if fills my heart and motivates me and makes me work a little harder, knowing the massive shadow and huge shoes left behind by him.
I miss you Don.
“To create is divine. To reproduce is human.” – Man Ray
Quit giving me that look. It was your idea to have two glasses.
But you can be.
It was bound to happen.
Woah! I mean, he said it would be big, but this care package from Tim Maloney was exploding at the seems with excellent goodies! First, a ton of Naked Rabbit CDs, Comics & stickers! And as if that wasn’t enough, he threw in a massive piles of blank tapes! It’s like A Metaphor in July! This should keep me busy for a while.
So, huge jukebox musicals about artists from the past are getting a lot of Hollywood attention? Might I make a recommendation?
He was… close…-ish.
This song needs a Gex X update. So I gave it one:
The kids of today should defend themselves against the 90’s
I peered in his eyes as we stood in line just to have a look
But the pages I found looked like an unbound coloring book
The kids of today should defend themselves against the 90’s
It’s not reality, just someone else’s sentimentality
It won’t work for you
Gen Xers, selling you rumors of their history
Forcing youth away from the truth of what’s real today
The kids of today should defend themselves against the 90’s
Stadium minds with stadium lies gotta make you laugh
Garbage vendors against true defenders of the craft
The kids of today should defend themselves against the 90’s
It’s not reality, just someone else’s sentimentality
Look what it did to us
I woke up with all of the ‘90s stuck in my head, and now I can’t stop crying at Weezer songs.
Hurtling down I-5 with Obadiah, blasting RVIVR, a ska punk show in my mind, singing along with songs I don’t know, wondering if there’s a place in this world for a middle aged man like me, hoping against hope that there’s a snack in the fridge when you get home, and that you remembered correctly that you don’t have anything to do tomorrow…
“Between the time when the oceans were poisoned by Republicans, and the rise of the sons of Gen X, there was an age undreamed of, with sweaters and bow ties. And unto this was born Austin, destined to bear the publishing of ACRONYM ‘zines upon a troubled brow…”
Saw an old white guy waiting for the bus who was taking up the whole sidewalk, with his dog. A huge seeing eye dog. I looked up to see this old man was not only wearing the customary glasses, but a red MAGA hat. To avoid the space he was taking up I had to walk out into the street, off the sidewalk. The dog looked at me as I passed, as if to say, “Don’t Judge. This is just a job. I hate it too.”
It was all WAAY too symbolic.
I just realized that we live in a Grant Morrison / Warren Ellis reality hybrid where politics and government are slowly destroying everything but instead, we forget to create Spider Jerusalem to fight back, and in the only humorous twist, the Invisibles are nowhere to be seen.
Longing for those old Omni magazines I used to read at night. I caught the tail end before they stopped publication, but in High School I could check out new (and old) issues from the library, and I certainly spent a lot of time reading them.
Thanks to a gift from Rebekah, I can listen to Dylan Houser’s “Hell Garbage” and enjoy it as it was meant to be heard. Thanks, both of you!
More outgoing mail art. Lisa, Jeremy, Matt, univac, Lisa B, & Tim: keep your eyes peeled.
Is there anyone I promised a package to who hasn’t gotten one?
(Ellen & Brad still have something pending; Paul might get lucky at some point, too.)
A fan enjoying the newest zine, somewhere in a field in Sweden. This and more is available in our merch store. We ship… almost anywhere, anywhen. wtbc.bandcamp.com/merch/
That old age app ain’t half bad.
Both. And more.
I think that old-age app was pointed at our Country cause it sure is old and white and racist lately.
Area 51? Let’s storm Graceland instead. It’s time to bring Elvis out of hiding.
I’m part of a couple of different music-by-mail groups, where once a month I receive a new bit of music in the mail from various artists who are in the club. At the end of this year I will have 22 recordings from a number of cool artists. This got me thinking about something more local…
I’m wondering: would there be enough Salem artists / musicians / comedians / weirdos who would be interested in joining a similar club for 2020? We’d each pick a month, and in that month we would deliver to the other members of the club a copy of a disc / tape / whathaveyou of some new stuff for the members of the club.
Since we’re all going to be local we could even plan a monthly meetup instead of shelling out for the postage. But this could be negotiated as a group.
What do you think? Any Salem folks think they’d be into this? What’s the temperature, Salem?
This Friday, tune into a very special Mid-Valley Mutations on KMUZ.org, where we help you fall fast asleep with music by John Shirley & Jerry King, Boar, Don Gero, The Ether Creeps, The Cosmos Group, Tom Furgas, Brad Anderson, Chris Gierig (I Died), MX-80, Deejay Embryonicpetitsac, Onomatopoeia, Dylan Houser, and much much more. Hopefully we can just… get… some… sleep… The fun starts at 10 PM, sharp.
Oh no! Truth bombs deployed!
Why is it that if anyone even gets a whiff of my first name, it’s the only name they will ever use? I’m still referring to people by the weird goth handles people gave me on BBSs in the ‘90s, and I’d say half of the people I know now I refer to as, “DJ so-and-so,” or by the name of their solo project.
Doesn’t this shade into deadname territory? What am I missing here?
Wow. It worked.
This sort of changes the game.
A clean office is an avoided deadline, and vice versa.
It’s hard to relate to folks who won’t admit that what they call a “philosophy” is actually called “rationalized selfishness.”
Photos from the “Social Media Conference” The White House held.
Note: not a single social media representative was present for this event. Pay special attention to the given pronunciation guides. These words are not pronounced as indicated on the cards.
Thanks Maritxu. I already sent one off to a friend.
I feel like Sach, Royal & Rich should make a little tune together, about how we’re always on “The Social Media.”
I found a recording of a ‘90s era radio broadcast that I thought was gone forever, and have not heard since it aired. It’s eerie, because I have a lot of recordings of my voice from that era, but these are words I haven’t heard myself say in 20 years. I’ll post a transfer when I’m done. I think there’s about 90 minutes of a two hour show here…
One challenge of analog conversion is that of timing. The “data transfer” is happening in real time, but in the most inefficient way. You essentially “open a recording channel,” which captures all incoming signals, and then you “send a signal” (play your source or tape or something) while that channel is open. The upside is that it captures your source “as-is”. The signal is as it was on the source. The downside: you need to be there to turn the signal on or off when you are done.
In my case, I have a number of unlabeled tapes that may contain radio / band / demos / gifts from friends and artists, but in the 26 years of trying to store / haul / display / use this archive, any useful info is long lost and / or may have only existed in my or someone else’s mind. The meta-data is gone. What do you do to process this external storage medium?
My process has been to capture and review the contents afterwards, which yields some unusual (if not hilarious) files I’ve stumbled across. A lot of tapes have nothing on side two, and often, not much on side one. However, I can’t use this as a guide; already I’ve found a few tapes where there was material on only the second half of a side, and a few tapes you can hear what was once on at the end, and second use in the middle, and a third recording only at the beginning.
Only time will help me uncover where the interview with my grandmother is, vs. the six Men’s Recovery Project tapes I apparently made for myself. My hope is that among the Bible Study Tapes and old recordings of KWVA that I can find those Con Men demos and some practice sessions by a few one-off projects.
You: Someone with an old shelf for storing CDs who wants to get rid of it.
Me: Wanting to arrange a way to take this shelf off your hands.
So… when do we start messaging each other?
Fucking Lyft. Thanks for breaking on a late rainy night.
Another day, another adventure in DIY analog capturing in a digitally unforgiving world.
Before the current trend of calling people “hoarders,” in the old days we were referred to as pack-Rats, and from time to time my insistence on saving everything / reusing junk has come back to help me out greatly.
This time: another device, another laptop, another try. It occurred to me that Marla gave me this suitcase Crosley with a USB port, and strangely, and Aux Input. Occasionally I was able to get okay captures using that.
However, since I got my new Apple, having to convert from USB to fancy new proprietary port has really ruined the functionality of this. For some reason, the fancy Apple port just threw glitches. (Or, Little, “Buy the Apple version,” messages, I guess.)
Anyway, I realized my old Apple had not been stolen and still booted up and still runs Audacity. The mouse barely works but I can navigate with tabs and returns and whatnot. Plus I need it to do one thing only, and it still has a USB port.
Pop in a tape, set levels, fingers crossed… no dice. The glitches continue.
I was feeling particularly glum, and I started randomly googling the features on my Zoom recorder, sort of already knowing it was pointless. However, I found a little blurb that mentioned how a very specific setting could change my Zoom recorder to accept only a line-in stereo signal, which was not only news to be, but I really thought I’d gone through every imaginable setting to realize I hadn’t.
Anyway, I took a very simple RCA to 1/8″ stereo adapter, plugged one end into the tape output, the other into the Zoom recorder, adjusted levels, and…
Success. In this one setting, if the line-in receives a signal, it overrides one pair of the four channels, and only provides a clean capture of that line. The setup is so simple, and uses gear I already had, that it was actually TOO easy. I was, of course, trying to problematize everything.
So… the cassette archive will soon have a chance to make the leap to other formats. Stay tuned!
I think I finally figured out how to digitally capture full stereo analog sources… and I had the power with me the whole time!
Is there anyone available to help me out with a ride today around 7 PM to The Space?
An oldie but a goodie.
Hmmmm. False alarm. I reviewed the recordings a little more closely and they’re glitchy as hell. I don’t think that method of tape to digital conversion will work.
Oooof. This is starting to sound costly.
I think I solved my analog conversion problem. I have an old laptop with a standard stereo 1/8th inch input. I fired up this laptop. It runs XP, and has audacity.
I plugged the tape deck into my stereo, ran a 1/8th inch line out from the stereo into the laptop computer input, and it works.
The laptop is so old that getting online is hard, and since it’s XP almost nothing works; I have to transfer files to my primary machine with a USB stick.
Still… I guess it works?
Remember when you would go to a rock show with your friends and you get home drunk and your ears are ringing and you feel alive? Because I do…
Remembering old habits.
I make no apologies about my behavior tonight.
#DancinShoesOn #BoomSwaggerBoom #IAmAFuckingNerd
I’ve been traveling up and down I-5 a lot lately, and I’ve got one more trip up and down to see Murder City Devils for the first time in over 10 years. Will I see you tonight? Let’s try to connect if we can… I’m gonna be neck-deep in nostalgia and beer, and would love to see you there.
I can’t wait until sleep isn’t cool anymore. Then I’ll show them.
Or are taken seriously at all by anyone.
Isn’t that a lot better?
Some snaps from Unamerica & Scum of the Earth Launch Party! at the The Lovecraft Bar last night. Thanks Obadiah for dragging me out of the house.
(Cody Goodfellow, Michael Kazepis, Nathan Carson, John Shirley, John Skipp & Cody again.)
I had an excellent whirlwind trip to Portland with Obadiah to sign “Legalize Shrooms” petitions and do some shopping / absorbing culture. The big score: the Rats reissue with a huge book / zine included, and a reproduction of an original Rats flier. But my Powell’s trip might as well have been a comics stop, as I can’t wait to tuck into Sabrina and Shade The Changing Girl. An excellent evening of literature and stories. Let’s do this more often.
Let’s see where the day takes me.
(Buddy: I thought of you while I tied my shoes today.)
Hey Eugene, OR: What are you up to today / this evening?
I have to say, if you aren’t going to horror fiction readings at a goth bar where half of the authors AND audience are on mushrooms, then what are you doing with your life?
Looks like I’ll be passing through PDX today to do some shopping and catch a reading; maybe there’ll be time to get a bite or a drink, but I’m not exactly sure what my itinerary is.
What are you up to?
Happy X Day, one and all.
Do I know anyone in the Salem area that might want a free porch couch? We just don’t have the space. Nine feet long. We do not have a way to transport it. Maybe this is for you?
I’ve been sending more mail lately than I used to, which is great. But: unlike when I used to do this a lot more in the ‘90s, the cost of postage these days has gone up tremendously.
I’ve always been reluctant to charge money for my stuff, and even more-so to charge reasonable prices. (I used to insist “one dollar for a zine” in spite of the mounting evidence that each issue cost well over a dollar to make). I’ve been slowing trying to get my prices to match those of other folks I meet, and I try to factor in as much of the time I spend making things more than I used to, but I’m pretty sure I both charge well under — and well over — what I should charge for my music and writing.
I know many people who don’t charge anything, or charge very little, and they deserve so much more. I know others who charge as much as possible, and it is worth every penny to whoever buys it. So I have a very hard time figuring out an “average.” I do feel like I’m somewhere in the middle: I should probably charge more as a serious artist, but I feel like I’m overcharging at almost any price.
Postage is the only thing that seems hard to cover without wincing, especially as prices go up so much. To send an 8 oz packages media mail can be almost $3. So I think I need to face the unfortunate reality that I might have to start charging at least that much in shipping for anything I send out.
Considering how cheap most of my stuff is, this feels weird. But I guess this is the economics of late stage capitalism?
How do you handle postage? And tips? Suggestions? It’s certainly a very high cost, but not insurmountable.
I don’t have any Elton John albums, and he’s never been a mainstay on my radio show, nor have I ever seen him live. I don’t make a habit of listening to him at home; he’s not my favorite artist.
But I wept — several times — at ‘Rocketman,’ in a way I did not know was possible. And certainly it’s a well-made movie about a fascinating career, one that deploys the flair of musicals and the sensibilities of a magical-realist farce á la ‘Amélie.’ Why shouldn’t it bring me to tears?
What’s fascinating is that for an artist that I never think about — for someone who I have never expressed any sort of fanclub membership interest in, even as his career progressed and changed — is that I could sit down to see a story I knew almost nothing about and find myself singing along with nearly every single song.
Which is also not really surprising. Every person on earth has been inundated with his material for decades, in radio and movies and TV, and the hits are nearly ubiquitous. When I ran karaoke, people sang him every night. And, I always knew the song.
When I grew up, when he was deep into his dependency issues and was making some of the worst music by his or anyone else’s account, his back-catalog was still everywhere. Every radio for years played those songs, all his hits, almost endlessly, even on stations that theoretically only played “contemporary” music, so even when his personal life would make headlines, it never interfered with our awareness of his tunes. Even if I can say I don’t own any of his albums — I mean, I don’t think I do, do I? — it’s hard to deny that I know his music.
But I don’t think the songs were the culprits for constantly needing my hanky, though anymore the slightest amount of nostalgia does seem to do it for me. The songs are fine, especially the older ones, and I don’t mind them at all. But there is this story at work, a narrative arc that is so completely relatable and yet entirely his own that shook me to my very dreams.
Elton’s transformation from “average child” to finding himself is what is truly beautiful and heartwarming about this film. With each step from his humble beginnings toward becoming this raging queen dressed like another raging queen (as depicted in his dressing like the Queen of England scene), we follow the path of someone finally realizing their desires. And what better way to illustrate this path than through dream-logic, where we float in and out of the reality and fantasy Elton has constructed as we drift in and out of the songs he and Bernie constructed. It’s not a criticism, but you can almost see where the stage musical will cheat the scene to make it work better for that medium, and there’s a tiny bit of “writing for the future” that shines through here and there. But the fantasies are used to sell his self discovery and ultimate metamorphosis from average to extraordinary. We believe it because it carries the dream logic that we’re all familiar with, AND because describing Elton’s life is sort of like telling someone a strange a complicated dream.
This is first shown — and magnificently realized — when the film shows Elton playing the Troubadour for the first time. In a recreation of the famous photograph of him jumping up and out from behind his piano in a flying pose, the film chooses to visualize this and show him and the entire audience floating up too. Everyone can actually feel this magic in the room, as those who were there at the real show have said over and over again. He has made it, and the lightness he’s feeling — the joy he felt at having and sharing this joy with the world — is a collective experience, and while we all feel it differently, it is hard to deny when a room feels something together like this.
That scene is not only one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever seen in any art film I ever slogged through in the name of my “education,” but the emotional thrust of that moment is made even more incredible by the context presented. He’s alone up there. Thematically, emotionally, and actually. The staging puts him separate from the band, separate from Bernie, separate from everyone.
It is then, completely alone and meant to entertain this crowd, that he rises, mystically, like a deity, and his followers all rise accordingly.
The loneliness that bookends his levitation on stage makes this moment a waterworks scene for me. We ARE alone when we dream. We spend those moments of idle fantasy completely alone, away from friends and family and the world, creating a fantasy that is gone quickly and longed for endlessly afterwards. It is a moment where we are entirely in our heads.
Now, to actualize that dream, that fuzzy floating fantasy where you can rise off the ground in real life and everyone there sees you do it…
Isn’t that every performer’s fantasy?
I wish I knew how to impress him. I wish I knew how to talk to him. I wish he wanted to talk to me. I wish I had something interesting to him that I could say.
I wish I could understand the 17 year old.
It’s all I can do to keep up.
So, the Elton John movie wrecked me. My hankie is soaked.
Anyone who donates to this cause not only helps support one of the coolest fests around, but if I brought it to your attention and you donate because of that, a piece of mail art filled with ACRONYM, Inc. & Mini-Mutations goodies will head your way as a thank you for keeping this show alive. NorCal NoiseFest is something truly special, and your support allows us to put it on every year. Thank you! (Message me if you make the donation!)
I guess we have something to live for now.
At least until the new Black Adder airs.
Our roommate got both Marla & I gifts, which was incredibly thoughtful. Especially since my gift was the complete 1973 run of Wacky Packages.
These are gonna look so boss on my notebook.
Well, crap. They got my number.